This morning the news on the TV was that it was a great day for flying hot air balloons so we got to the Fiesta grounds without delay. When we arrived a lttle past 7am balloons were being inflated and starting to ascend. It is quite a sight to see hundreds of balloons in the sky. Another challenge was underway but all balloons in the air do not participate in these challenge races. The challenge was to drop the marker from the balloon into a boat on the field. I believe there were several balloons that were giving balloon rides at this time. Balloon rides were advertised at $399.00/person which seems awfully expensive. Tom and I have taken 2 rides (one in Pa. and another here in Albuquerque during an RV rally) that were not that much for the two of us. It was a beautiful morning - clear skies and a little warmer than the previous mornings.
By 9am the activities for the morning were coming to an end so we hopped on the bus to return to the Fiesta campground. Since it was warming up we shed some of our outer clothing and then took off in the Jeep for Santa Fe about 40 miles north. In the Plaza area we visited the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica and then the Loretto Chapel. The Loretto Chapel is known for its miraculous stairway. This spiral stairway has two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support. It was built in the 1800's but not known by whom. Originally there was no railing but the railing was added later at the insistence of the nuns. We then walked about area stopping in the shops and outside vending areas. I found a torquoise necklace that I didn't think I could live without. We had lunch at the Burrito Factory before returning to the Albuquerque area.
This morning at the Balloon Fiesta there was a Hard Rock Cafe and Casino booth that we stopped by. A coupon for commemorative pins was given to us. So before returning to the motorhome we went to the Hard Rock Casino to get these pins in honor of the Balloon Fiesta. We also were given $25.00 promotional dollars for signing up for a Player's Card. Tom and I sought out the cheap slots and played on our promotional dollars for a couple hours and then we started cashing out our winnings. We ended up with $17.00 plus in winnings which we spent before getting back to the motorhome when we stopped at Fuddrucker's for supper. What a busy but fun day!